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Before 2020, business resilience was a smaller—though still important—capability for enterprises. Plenty of organizations understood resilience and its impact on business operations, but few implemented programs that developed resiliency for long-term success.
Today, business resilience is essential. No event has demonstrated this truth more dramatically than the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 90% of business leaders agree the pandemic raised the importance of risk management and corporate resilience. But even in the face of COVID-19, businesses had to keep pace with an evolving risk landscape and an increasing number of threats—all of which had the potential to strike a blow to critical infrastructure and operations.
That’s why building and strengthening business resilience is mission-critical to the future of any organization. Not only is resilience key to mitigating the short- and long-term effects of disruptive events, it’s also essential to growth and survival.
Let’s take a closer look at business resiliency and what can be done to create and maintain a more resilient organization.
Although many businesses are still recovering from the global pandemic, they have taken a renewed interest in developing crisis contingency plans and other resiliency programs.
According to the International Organization for Standardization, resilience is an organization’s ability to adapt to a business disruption while maintaining operations under changing circumstances. In other words, a resilient organization is one that can absorb the initial shock of a disruption while also pivoting in response to its dynamic environment.
It’s important to note that business resilience shouldn’t be confused with business continuity. Although they’re related and often overlapping terms, business continuity planning is focused on immediate response and short-term operation. In contrast, resiliency approaches risk management with a long-term and proactive lens.
Moreover, business resilience is a combination of several risk management disciplines, including business continuity, disaster recovery and crisis management. But the bottom line: Resiliency is about planning ahead, anticipating disruption and adapting to changes as necessary.
Organizations that had at least some semblance of resiliency were able to keep critical business operations functioning during the pandemic and multiple, compounding crisis of the past several years. The others—those who lacked a resilient risk management posture—were more exposed to consequences such as the following:
According to the Bain Resilience Index, high-resilience firms have nearly double the survival rate of low-resilience organizations. That means resilience is becoming synonymous with survival. And when you consider the increasingly sporadic and unpredictable threat vectors that put organizations at risk, it’s plain to see why resilience is garnering so much attention.
Anticipating disruption is fundamental to resilience. But to anticipate a disruptive event, you need to be forward-thinking—that’s where the business resilience plan comes into play.
A business resilience plan is a document designed to help organizations navigate business disruption and return to a state of acceptable operation. In short, it outlines the necessary steps a firm should take to mitigate and survive a crisis. The basic contents of a business resilience plan include the following:
Business resilience isn’t merely a survival strategy—it’s an ongoing competitive advantage. Take the impact of a natural disaster, for example. When an extreme weather event strikes a manufacturing plant, it not only halts operations at that one facility, but also triggers a domino effect that’s felt across the supply chain. An effective business resilience plan provides the framework a firm needs to mitigate the ongoing ramifications of the disaster and accelerate recovery.
Thus, business resilience planning offers three key advantages:
COVID-19 may have been an eye-opener for most businesses, but the truth is that resilience has been a long time coming.
Business leaders must contend with a risk landscape that is more complicated, less predictable and increasingly difficult to manage. This includes a multitude of risk factors that are increasing in frequency and severity over the past 30 years. And global uncertainty, climate change, geopolitical risk, cyber attacks and natural disasters are all on the rise.
Here’s the problem: A substantial number of firms still lack the resiliency to keep up with the accelerating pace of the risk landscape. According to FERMA, just 57% of businesses believe they’re equipped to manage resilience, and nearly three-quarters of them see a clear need to strongly integrate resilience into their organizational strategy.
The good news is that there are six fundamental areas of focus that business leaders can use to develop and strengthen resilience:
Implementing resilient strategies is much easier said than done—especially when organizations lack a proper understanding of risk and resilience. There are three main barriers to becoming resilient:
Many businesses are focused on short-term returns rather than long-term sustainability. Achieving resilience requires a multi-timescale perspective—one that accounts for both immediate and future continuity. BCG estimates that roughly 60% of companies are preparing to navigate a likely recession, but only 40% are preparing for a rebound in demand. Even fewer have begun reimagining their business for the post-pandemic environment, meaning that most organizations aren’t adapting to the new normal.
Companies are primarily concerned with creating fixed continuity plans rather than dynamic ones. But risk isn’t set in stone—it’s ever-changing and unpredictable. Stable plans are only effective when the causal relationship between incident and impact is clear.
Strategies for business resilience often create value differently than an organization’s typical activities. For this reason, it may take clear evidence and explanation to convince decision makers that resiliency strategies are a worthwhile investment.
Implementing a culture of business resiliency throughout an organization doesn’t happen overnight. But with time, dedication and a few basic strategies, businesses can get started in the right direction.
The following are tangible actions and best practices business leaders can use to win executive buy-in, develop strategic resilience and elevate their risk management abilities:
Although there’s much debate about how businesses should quantitatively measure resilience, there are four qualitative factors that all resilient organizations have in common. A truly resilient business can:
Mastering all four of these conditions is no easy task. But by implementing a real-time alerting solution like Dataminr Pulse, businesses can rise to the challenge faster than ever before.
Dataminr Pulse processes billions of units of information daily pulled from hundreds of thousands of publicly available data sources to detect the earliest indications of emerging risks and high-impact events—often within seconds or minutes of their occurrence. Combined with geovisualization capabilities, Pulse helps security teams locate and safeguard people and assets during a crisis by providing rich visual context.
For example, when severe weather struck Western Europe, Dataminr Pulse alerted customers about potential flash floods in the area using geo-location data. This allowed customers to view relevant data at the hyperlocal level, prioritize risk by area and ensure business continuity.
Pulse’s collaboration capabilities also enable customers to develop their own iterative response playbooks. They can then quickly move from risk detection to mitigation—a critical advantage when managing a high-risk situation. And they can use real-time and historical data to assess incident management performance from end to end, including any lingering effects on the business.
As a result, those who employ Dataminr Pulse are better able to maintain business continuity and achieve the business resiliency needed to grow and compete today and tomorrow.
Request a demo today to learn more about the power of Dataminr Pulse.